ADOPTION IN INDIA- WHO CAN ADOPT?
Adoption In India: Procedure To Adopt And Documents Needed
Humans have always been involved in the sacred act of adoption. Adoption has laws which can make the process legal or illegal. According to Indian Law, adoption is a coalition between a person or party willing to adopt a child. This law forms the basis by which the Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Indians make legal adoption of a ward.
The Christians, Parsis, and Muslims have no separate adoption laws. So, to have a legal adoption, they will have to approach the court in accordance with the 1890 Guardians and Wards Act.
WHAT IS ADOPTION?
Adoption is the act of voluntarily taking a child of another parent as one’s personal child in compliance with the legal principles. In India, Adoption is a process of permanently taking a child away from his biological parents to become a legitimate child of the new parent, with rights and privileges attached to the new relationship.
PRINCIPLES THAT GOVERNS ADOPTION
Children from India a subject to the following fundamental principles that govern adoption:
CHILD’S INTEREST: The interest of the child must be of paramount consideration while initiating the process of adoption.
INDIANS CITIZENS: Special preference shall be accorded for the placement of the child with Indian citizens so for the principle for child’s placement in his innate socio-cultural environment.
REGISTRATION: All adoptions shall be registered on Guidance System and Child Adoption Resource Information and the confidentiality of the procedure shall be ensured by the named authority.
STAKEHOLDERS IN ADOPTION PROCESS
Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) – the purpose of CARA is to ensure the smoothness in the child adoption process by slating guidelines, procedures and processes to be adopted by different stakeholders in the adoption process.
State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) – the State Adoption Resource Agency serves as an umpire in the state to promote and oversee adoption in conjunction with CARA.
Specialized Adoption Agency: this agency is recognized by the government of the states to see to the successful placement of adopted children.
Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA): this agency works in coordination with the Central Adoption Resource Authority for coordinating all issues relating to the adoption of an Indian child by a citizen of another country.
District Child Protection Unit: The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) is a unit established by the state government to identify orphans, surrendered and abandoned children in the states and initiate the process of declaring them legally qualified for adoption.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO ADOPT A CHILD
The would-be parents must be physically, financially, emotionally and mentally stable and should not suffer any life-threatening ailment. Furthermore, any adoptive parent can continue with the adoption of a child irrespective of if he has biological children or is married.
In addition to this, a single male can only adopt a male child while a single female can adopt a child of any gender.
It is required that a couple must have at least two years of stable relationship before they adopt and must be the consent of the two couples. Also, the minimum age difference existing between an adoptive parent and the child shall not be lower than twenty-five years.
Therefore, the age of eligibility for adoption shall be as on the date of registration and prospective adoptive parents with more than four children will not be allowed to adopt.
HOW TO ADOPT A CHILD IN INDIA
Adoption of a child in India can only be carried out online through an application submitted at www.cara.nic.in and follow the outlined procedures in the website. Every detail is specified in the site and is in accordance with the provisions of the Adoption Regulations Act, 2017.
Also, every prospective adoptive parent must register online on CARINGS and your District’s Child Protection Officer will guide you through if you have difficulties in the process of registration.
PROCEDURES FOR ADOPTION
The first step to take in India for adoption is to register on CARINGS (www.cara.nic.in), then select an Adoption Agency. After Password and user ID has been generated, documents should be uploaded within 30 days of registration and get a registration number.
From the date of submission of required documents, the adoption agency will conduct a home study report on your request and uploads it on CARINGS. This report will contain the suitability of the adoptive parent.
It is required that the prospective adoptive parent visit the adoption agency to finalize the application process within 15 days. The prospective parent is reserved for one child out of six children and if he fails to appear for documentation within the stipulated days, the prospective parent name will appear in the seniority list.
Once the child is accepted by the prospective parent, the State Adoptive Agency (SSA) files a petition in court for the issuance of an adoption order. This end after two years of post-adoption follow-ups by the SSA.
REQUIREMENTS DURING REGISTRATION ON CARINGS
- The prospective adoptive parent must be an Indian Citizen
- Residential address and phone number area code
- Email account and mobile number.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ADOPTION IN INDIA
The needed documents for uploads in the adoption of a child in India is as follows:
- Photograph of the person(s) adopting a child.
- Birth certificate
- Proof of residence and Income of last year.
- Marriage or Divorce Certificate
- Certificate of death for a married spouse.
- Medical fitness certificate from a recognized medical institution.
- Permanent Account Number (PAN) card in (.pdf) – size not above 512kb.
TYPES OF ADOPTION
The different types of Adoption can be summarized as follows.
- Adoption through an Agency: adoption agencies are established by the state government to regulate and place children in adoptive parent’s homes. There are two types of adoption agencies namely the public and private agencies. The public agencies handle abandoned, abused and orphaned children of the states while the private agencies are operated by charity organizations and take care of children put up for adoption by parents.
- Adopting Independently: this is a direct negotiation between adoptive parents and birth parents. This is mostly unacceptable in most states and as such, most adoptive parents hire an attorney to do the documentation.
- Adopting through Identification: this is a collaboration between the agency and an independent adoption. Here, the adoptive parents and the biological parents contact the agency to take charge of the adoption procedure.
- International Adoption: this is the most difficult of all the types of adoption as it requires that you satisfy the legal requirements in your country and in the child’s country. This will be handled by the Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency.
- Adoption as Stepparent: this takes place when the parent’s new partner adopts the spouse’s child. The procedures are simple and only requires the consent of both parents. An attorney will be required to handle the complex paperwork if any of the parents disapprove or cannot be found.
Other forms of adoption practiced in other climes include:
- Same-sex adoption
- Adult adoption
- Relative adoption
DO’S OF ADOPTION IN INDIA
- Adoption can only be conducted through a Specialized Adoption Agencies (SSAs) that is recognized by the state government.
- Upload the necessary documents during registration
- Read and follow the guidelines carefully and follow the laid steps for registration.
- For the adoption-related charges, ensure you make payments by cheque only and collect your receipts.
DON’TS OF ADOPTION IN INDIA
- Do not go to any hospital, nursing home, unauthorized institution, maternity home or any individual for adoption.
- Your registration can become invalid if you upload fake or irrelevant documents.
- No adoption charges should be paid other than charges stated in the CARINGS site.
- Don’t patronize touts and middlemen.
- Illegal adoption can lead you to become a member of child trafficking network which could get you into jail. Avoid it.
LIST OF TOP ADOPTION INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA
- Children of the world India Trust – established in 1982 and operates from Mumbai.
- Delhi Council of Child Welfare (DCCW) – an NGO founded in 1952.
- Indian Association of Promotion of Adoption (IAPA) – located in Mumbai and active since 1971
- World Child Welfare Trust India (WWTI) – stations in Mumbai and established in 1984.
- Family Service Centre (FSC) – established in 1955 with headquarters in Mumbai.
- Vathsalya Charitable Trust – located in Bangalore, been active since 1988.
- The catalyst for Social Action (CSA) – located in Mumbai and inaugurated in 2002.
- Asansol Burdwan Seva Kendra (ABSK) – located in Bengal, established in 1998.
- Indian Society for Rehabilitation of Children (ISRC) – located in Kolkota
- Uttar Pradesh Council for Child Welfare (UPCCW) – it works for education, development, and health of needy children and facilitates their adoption.
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED BY PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS
- Will I be given many options to choose from? Due to the population growth in India and the number of unwanted children, you will be given many options.
- Can a person adopt a child if he already has? The Hindu Adoption and maintenance act 1954 allows one to adopt a child of the opposite gender to one they already have.
- What is my minimum income before I can adopt? Couples are expected to have a minimum income of Rs 3000.
Adoption has come to stay in India and should be encouraged by the larger population due to the number of unwanted children that abound in the country.
Many agencies have observed a growing penchant for the female child among adoptive parents. It is seen that adoption is one means that can be used to fight female infanticide and feticide issues in India.
The best that can happen to any child is to have a better love, care, and protection which he really needs.